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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
15

The “Achilles’ Heel” of Georgia’s Agriculture – Incomplete Land Registration

“We often preoccupy ourselves with the symptoms, whereas if we went to the root cause of the problems, we would be able to overcome the problems once and for all” – Wangari Muta Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2004. LAND FRAGMENTATION – THE ROOT CAUSE “Commercialization of farmers can happen only if land consolidation occurs and farmers benefit from economies of scale” – Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Kobulia stated at the Rural Conference 2019 held in Tbilisi last week. According to the latest agriculture census ...
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Apr
12

Red or Blue!

Have you ever wondered why the color of the United National Movement (UNM) is red while Georgian Dream (GD) is blue? Why not green and orange? It might be that red and blue offer a contrast, and they also symbolize quite different things.1 And, contrast is indeed what they each seek. These two parties have dominated Georgian politics since 2012, and it is now difficult to recall the subject they built a consensus around or even one that they have tried to discuss. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in its report on the 2018 ...
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Mar
29

Net-Metering: A Realistic Green Solution to the Generation-Consumption Deficit?

In February 2019, Georgian power plants generated 939 million kWh of electricity, which compared to the previous year represents a 0.5% increase in total generation. On the demand side, consumption amounted to 1,037 mln. kWh, a 2% decrease on an annual basis. Although the negative gap between generation and consumption decreased by 22% (from -126 to -98 mln. kWh), compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, it remained substantial. It is worth highlighting, once again, that this negative gap does not wholly reveal the extent of dependence o...
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Mar
22

One Small Step for a Man, Big Data for Mankind: Uses of Alternative Data Sources in Tourism Development

There are many mesmerizing buildings in Tbilisi, but do you know which one tourists favor the most? Or have you ever wondered what travelers’ favorite Georgian food or wine is? Thanks to modern tools and data-gathering methods, we now have actual proof that khachapuri is tourists’ all-time favorite Georgian dish. In 2018, the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA), along with Communication Agency Windfor’s, launched a campaign called  “Emotions are Georgia” to determine what foreign tourists admire the most in our beautiful country and whic...
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Mar
15

Equal Rights Are Not Just for Women: Are We Ready for New Paternity Leave Policies in Georgia?

The following blog article was conceived of within the deliberations of a project, together with UNFPA, related to the cost assessment of potential changes to the leave policies of working parents. Admittedly, like the majority of the population, I had no idea that men in Georgia have the opportunity to take leave intended for childcare. It is a fact that since 2011 the number of fathers who have taken “childcare” leave can be counted on just two hands (including the ISET Alumnus, Giorgi Balakhashvili). As a future father this topic proves to be particul...
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Feb
01

Do We Need to Worry About the Generation Deficit in the Electricity Market? And What Can Be Done About It?

Looking at annual consumption and generation trends, from 2012-2016, it is clear that generation typically exceeded consumption. Consequently, the generation-consumption gap remained positive. However, in 2017 this trend reverted, and the electricity generated by local resources on the Georgian market was no longer enough to supply the local demand. As shown in Figure 1, the gap widened even further in 2018; with the negative gap increasing by 30% (from 344 mln. kWh in 2017 to 447 mln. kWh in 2018). This significant reversal has motivated us to explore ...
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